The Governing Council of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), has beseeched the government to provide the school with a seed fund of GHS50 million for rapid development of their infrastructure deficit.
Addressing President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House when they paid a courtesy call on him, the Governing Council, led by its Chairman, Professor A. K. Tuah, indicated that UENR, which began in the year 2012 with a student population of 154, has grown to 6,000 as of 2019. This increase, he said, has put a serious strain on the existing infrastructure of the University and an urgent infrastructure boost is needed to enhance teaching and learning at the Energy and Natural Resources University.
"We would like you and your government to help us with similar facilities extended to the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAAS) and University of Environment," the Council Chairman said.
"During the Establishment of UENR, by Act 830 in 2011, the University was given seed money of GHS10,000,000 which was used to pay salaries, rehabilitate a few buildings and for the acquisition of a few vehicles and some recurrent expenditure. We were to benefit from a $20 million loan with UHAAS. Eventually, we did not receive a cent from the $20 million loan," the Council Chairman said to justify the request for support from the government.
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Harrison Dapaah, in his brief remarks shed light on the several projects that the University is engaged in with the little resources and infrastructure at their disposal such as a weather prediction system, earth observation and innovation centre, fire detecting equipment capable of detecting wildfires from Senegal to Cameron.
"We humbly want to appeal to Mr. President that in terms of the infrastructure, laboratory, farm infrastructure and equipment, if a seed money of 50 million Ghana Cedis could be granted us that would help us to be able to establish some of these equipment and laboratories that we are in need of," the Vice-Chancellor said.
President Akufo Addo in his response to the request by the UENR Governing Council praised them for the successes they have chalked in spite of the many challenges bedevilling the institution.
"The story that you have told us this afternoon is an extremely inspiring story and I think such a story has to elicit a positive response [from those of] us who are in charge of the government," the President said.
"I will like to assure you that your visit, coming a long way from Sunyani down here to visit me at the Presidency will not be in vain. We will definitely find a way to respond. I believe strongly that as much money as we can find to put into our education at all levels, the quicker the development of Ghana will be and the people of Ghana will benefit from that investment," President Akufo Addo pointed out.
The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 830, 2011 on December 31, 2011. The University is a public-funded national institution which seeks to provide leadership and management of energy and natural resources and be a centre of excellence in these critical areas. The University approaches its programmes and research emphasising interdisciplinary collaboration and taking into account, areas such as economics, law and policy, management, science, technology and engineering as well as social and political issues affecting energy and natural resources. The University is a multi-campus set-up and currently has three campuses located in Sunyani, Nsoatre and Dormaa Ahenkro. The Sunyani campus which is approximately 85 acres is home to the School of Sciences; School of Natural Resources; School of Graduate Studies and the Main Administration of the University as well as the University Library.